PNB to finalise life insurance partner by June

Punjab National Bank intends to finalise the partner for its life insurance foray by June

The country second largest public sector lender, Punjab National Bank (PNB) intends to finalise the partner for its life insurance foray by June.
"We hope to finalise the partner this quarter," Punjab National Bank chairman and managing director KR Kamath told PTI.

The bank shortlisted 10 entities from 41 and further it was narrowed down to three, he said.

The three shortlisted life insurers include Bharti AXA, Aviva and Metlife.

The bank will finalise the partner for life insurance business based on the evaluation of the proposals submitted by these insurance companies, he said.
If PNB picks up stake in any life insurer, either domestic or overseas partner will have to dilute stake in the insurance firm.

Aviva India is joint venture between FMCG player Dabur India and UK-based Aviva Plc while Bharti AXA Life Insurance is joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA of France.

Metlife India stakeholders include Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Shapoorji Pallonji and other investors besides Metlife of the US.

Last year, PNB announced its plans for a strategic partnership with an insurance player. The bank had said it has decided to participate in the life insurance venture through "a corporate agency tie-up along with equity participation in an existing Indian life insurance company".

PNB is among the few banks with a large branch network which does not have a stake in a life insurance company.

Last year, PNB decided to part ways with it foreign partner in a proposed life insurance joint venture it set up four years ago.

PNB bought the entire 26% stake held by Principal Financial Group and the 32% participating interest of domestic firm UK (Berger) Paints in Principal PNB Life Insurance Company Ltd. PNB's stake in the proposed joint venture was 30%, while that of Vijaya Bank was 12%.

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Oriental to make health insurance more affordable

Oriental Insurance Company is working on a no frills policy to keep the premium low for the lower middle class group

State-owned Oriental Insurance Company is working on a no frills policy to keep the premium low for the lower middle class group. The company has come up with this policy to reduce the premium so that the health insurance becomes more affordable. To increase the rural penetration, Oriental Insurance has opened 100 extension counters last year and has planned to open 100 more this year.

Oriental Insurance is also working on some policies for the super rich class as well.

Oriental Insurance is planning to form a joint venture to start a third party administer (TPA). In order to control over cost, the company will shift all its cases through this firm and the same is likely to deal with all hospitals.

The company has a list of preferred provider network (PPN) of hospitals, which have agreed to its rates. However the rates may vary, as the super specialty hospitals have higher rates. Oriental also has plans to extend the PPN to other cities as well.

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Private life insurers’ first year premium down 4% in FY11

Private life insurance sector saw a decline of 4% to Rs30,451 crore in the first year premium income during the 2010-11 fiscal

The private life insurance sector saw a decline of 4% to Rs30,451 crore in the first year premium income during the 2010-11 fiscal.

As many as 10 companies, of the total 22 private players accounting for 36.8% of the total life insurance industry, witnessed a decline in first year premium income, as per an analysis of data released by IRDA.

At the end of financial year 2010-11, the private sector life insurance companies reported Rs30,451 crore of premium income compared to Rs31,618 crore in the April-March period of previous fiscal. The companies which witnessed a surge in the first year premium figures include Max New York Life, HDFC Life, SBI Life and ICICI Prudential.

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